Medical care and primary care were at one time synonymous. All health care was primary. The concept and terminology of primary care came into widespread use during the 1960s, reflecting a specific policy agenda: bolstering the role of the generalist physician, which had changed dramatically following World War II. In this talk, Dr. Howell will describe the transformation of the nineteenth-century physician making house calls on horseback into the twenty-first-century primary care physician contemplating the electronic records of her patient population. The essential point is that “primary care” was born out of tension with other forms of medical care. In the future, primary care will be reinvented, and changes will be caused by the sorts of external social, political, and economic forces that previously led to systemic transformation.
In person: The lecture will take place in East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus, in the Patenge Room (C102). Directions. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.
Joel Howell, MD, PhD is the Victor Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine, and a Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, History, and Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. He practices primary care (as well as hospitalist care) and studies the history of medicine, with special emphasis on the history of medical technology. In so doing, he tried to understand how and why US medicine has become obsessed with the use of medical technology. Part of the answer to this question comes from the ways in which we choose to organize clinical practice, including the contingent nature of our current system of specialties.
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